Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fireworks Are Scary For Dogs

On Sunday, during daylight hours, a neighbor of ours decided to shoot off some fireworks. These weren't the cheap $10 colored firecracker streams that shoot 20 feet into the air. It sounded as if bombs were going off. It took both of us by surprise. After all, who shoots off fireworks when the sun is still beating down?

My first instinct was to run outside to enjoy the show however, my attention was focused on the new addition to our lil' family...Sophie. This 11 pound nugget of cuteness jumped at the first explosion and scampered around to find a suitable hiding spot. I was sitting at my desk. Sophie found refuge against my legs underneath the desk.

I have never seen a dog so terrified by the sound of fireworks. It broke my heart to see her tremor. I scooped her up and she pressed her body against my chest as she convulsed with fear. My wife and I looked at each other and, without speaking a word, knew we weren't going anywhere over the weekend to enjoy a fireworks show or two.

Once the explosions stopped, I held her for a few minutes and then put her on the floor. She immediately ran back to her safety zone under the desk. I got down on the floor with her and attempted to coax her out with treats and toys. It took about a half hour before she inched her way out and settle back into her routine.

Fourth of July festivities are only a few days away. Whether you're hosting a party complete with fireworks or enjoying a fireworks display at a designated location, please do not overlook the safety of your pet. As "hoomans" we enjoy the loud explosions, thunder shows and grand finales however, to a dog, it's frightening.

The unpredictable noise can be intense for their sensitive ears and their reactions can vary. This can include jumping over fences, bolting out of opened doors, jumping out of windows, seeking a safe area to retreat a good distance away, running from the yard, etc. When you hear people say that more pets are lost or run away on the 4th of July than any other day of the year, they're not kidding.

There are dozens of precautions you can take and distractions you can provide your pup with to keep them safe this Fourth of July holiday. For more information check out 'Ten Fourth of July Pet Safety Tips' over at PetMD.

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